Thursday, February 28, 2013

I did it!

Hi everyone!!  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back here.  It was an eventful weekend!!

Getting my bib was so cool.  I felt like a real runner!  I mean I am, but getting that big made it feel awesome!!

I survived the half marathon and actually enjoyed it!  Well, most of it...miles 10 and 11 were brutal.  I was tired, that stretch of road was quiet with not a lot of support and it seemed to stretch on and on.  Oh, and did I mention the 3, yep, 3 exit ramp/overpasses we had to run?  Yep.

before the race
This is me before the race with all of my gear on and not sweating gets worse.  ;)
That said, it was such a great experience and even though beforehand I said I'd probably never run another half because the training takes so long, I've already signed up to have RunDisney email me when the 2014 race registration opens.  Here's a few pics I took and others took for me.

Running through the tolls I've so often driven through was neat!  And to see it lit up because it was still dark was cool too!
There's me around mile 8.  I was feeling good still.  See how crowded it was--yeah, pretty much the whole time like this.

Chris and my family were so awesome getting up early and always cheering me on.  I saw them about 4 times on the run although I totally missed my sister and bro-in-law twice.  I can tell you this--knowing they were at and seeing them at mile 12 are what kept me going at the end of the race.  Thanks to them most especially!

About to finish--feeling dead but wanting to finish strong.  See how most everybody's head is down.  That was a LONG 13.1 miles!

This awful picture cracked me up because first off-I see where Oren get's his horrible running faces from.  And second me and this girl are wearing the same shoes.  Funny.
 And I gotta say--that medal felt good around my neck!

So I'm now considering doing the 10-miler in October at Disney but haven't decided yet.  It was a great experience and I still kinda can't believe I did it!

But onto some quick sewing news...I turned my machine back on!  I've lost my sewjo between the race preps and stuff going on around here, but bee blocks don't wait, so on the last day of the month I whipped up these for Michonne and our Rad circle of do. Good stitches.

dGs February

I used some of my precious Mendocino scraps in the block on the right which didn't photograph overly well.  I even managed to get all of the fish swimming the same way!  I challenged Meesh to use a black background this time and she went for it!  I can't wait to see this quilt because it's going to be stunning. 

I'm hoping to get some sewing in tomorrow but my baby turns 7 on Saturday and we have a fun-packed day of bowling planned, so I'll wait and see.  Next week for sure.  Thanks for sticking around and encouraging y'all!  Here's to a great weekend if I don't see you before next week.  :) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One of those weeks...

So here's the thing...sometimes life gets so busy that your sewing mojo or sewjo as Toni calls it takes a back seat.  This past week I've messed up a paper-pieced block to the point of setting it aside for a few days instead of throwing it away.

I've machine-embroidered a name and flower onto Izzy's quilt top only to have the flower mess up so badly that it tore a hole in my patchwork and pulled a seam apart.

An applique will be going there--a heart maybe??

I've done a lot of yoga, cardio and some running to prepare for my race.  Which is Sunday.  YIKES!

Oren and Emma ran the kids' marathon last Saturday and he and I ran together.

I've (as PTO co-chair) bought and delivered 125 snacks and drinks for the 4th grade taking the FCAT Writes exam this coming week.

I've dealt with tummy troubles in Oren and potty training a puppy.

Look at that face...

Oh that puppy.  Little Miss Daisy is so stinking cute.  She's a really good girl and if you watch her, you can tell when she needs to go out.  She'll usually go out and do her business and look at you like "See, see how good I am."  She's playful but is yet (knocking on wood and knowing it's only a matter of time) to eat anything important.

And I just haven't had the time or desire to sew or knit much else.  I had the desire to clean my sewing room, but not even the time for that.  Can you imagine???

So, I'm telling myself everything in life has a season.  Right now, for this week--preparing for the half marathon, dealing with Oren's issues and keeping this blasted puppy from licking her butt and then licking me in the face is all I can worry about and get done.  And honestly, I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

So, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you understand why it's been so quiet around here.  Life calls sometimes and we have to answer.  And now I'm off to take Emma to dance, attend the high school baseball game and then go to Family Literacy Night at the school so the kids can test on the books they've read recently.

I'll be back in a few days...keep tight.  And if you find my sewjo--send it on this way, but don't waste money on express mail, it can take awhile, I've got time.  :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Finished Up

After leaving you with my zipper fail on Tuesday I couldn’t work on my triple-zipper pouch again until today.  Sometimes life doesn’t work with the crafty plans in your head, right?

So about lunch time today I sat down with my new zippers, new zipper tabs, the instructions and began again.

And now I have a pouch to show you!

 It’s not perfect.  I’m rushed today because we’re headed to Gainesville (again) this afternoon so I had an hour and a half window to make this pouch and be ready to go.  I chose done over perfect.  Be a friend and please pretend like you don't notice the uneven stitching lines in places...

BUT…after being more careful with the zippers, this little pouch went together well.

I followed the alternate ending instructions found on Marci’sblog which made a little more sense to me since I am also very visual and I sewed a little too far making my  top corners rounded instead of flat.

But that is easily fixable later if I choose to fix it.  I might just fix it on the next one…  ;)

So, here’s my quick finish today!  We’re going to watch the UF softball team this afternoon.  The kids and I are running a mile in the morning to complete their “marathon.”  They’ve run laps in the mornings before school this year to do the first 25 miles of a marathon and then tomorrow will run the final 1.2 to finish it before the grownups run theirs Sunday for the 5 Points of Life Cancer Research Fund.  They get shirts and medals and goodie bags, so they're excited for it.

Then we have a birthday party and family coming into town Saturday afternoon.

Whew—love those busy weekends.  At least we’ll have Monday to rest…

What are you up to this weekend and what you finished up recently??

p.s.  We named the puppy Daisy and other than forgetting how not fun potty training is, she’s been a doll to have around so far!  The kids love her so much!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Epic Fail

So my friend Debbie is hosting a Triple-Zip-Along based on the zipper pouch she designed.  I mentioned it yesterday and that I'd got my fabrics chosen.  I had ordered a collection of bright zippers from Pink Chalk and was ready to sew.

I got everything cut out this morning and promptly sewed the zipper tabs down wrong.  I walked away and did something else for awhile before I ripped them out and looked closer at the picture and fixed them.  Then I trimmed away the excess zipper and tab fabric.

Okay, next--lay the zipper down onto the base fabric and WAIT A MINUTE--my zippers are ALL an inch too short!  WHAT??

Of course I went ahead and cut the zippers assuming they were right so now I'm out of luck with these.

The kids and I have to go to Gainesville tomorrow for dentist appointments, so I'll go into JoAnn and see about getting some new zippers tomorrow, but man--epic fail at my house today.  I got mad and then I just laughed.  It's all reusable--I can make a smaller pouch later with the small zippers and I didn't have any fusible fleece anyway and was going to substitute batting, so I can pick that up tomorrow too.  But doesn't it stink when you royally screw up and have only yourself to blame?

Debbie's tutorial is not the issue as like 130 have already been made and added to the flickr group.  The blame lies all with me because I'm tired today.  Why am I tired--because we got a new puppy last night!  And she got up 3 times during the night to let us know she didn't like the crate.  The last one was 5 a.m, so I've been up for awhile.

haha--she looks thrilled here doesn't she??  "Man this kid likes to hold me..."

BUT...she's so stinking cute!  And look how much Oren loves her already.  He's hoping she'll be his pet and love him best.

But he might have some competition because she looks awful taken with Emma already too.

So far she's spent the most time with me since they're all at school today , but I've got her on her lead rope outside right now learning to hang out there without me, so I'm not sure how much she's going to like me after all...  We haven't named her yet as we haven't thought of something we all agree on but we're going to decide tonight even if it means drawing straws to pick a winner.  Chris and I shook our heads this morning when she was rip roaring and ready to go at 5 and thought how long it had been since we had a baby of any kind in the house.  But lucky us, this cutie is a playful and happy little thing.  :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Monday

Hi all!  I hope you had a great weekend.  They go so quickly don't they?  It seems it's Sunday night by the time I blink twice.

I did get a few things done over the weekend, including finishing up the quilt top for baby Izzy's blanket and two more star blocks for Oren's Star Wars quilt.

Izzy's quilt is a scrappy Trip Around the World but with a specific color theme.  Her nursery is light greens, pinks and dark browns so I chose fabrics with that in mind.  I'm not overly in love with it, but hopefully they will be.   I really think it should be one row wider to complete the design but I don't really want to make it that big.

I'm debating between an allover free-motion (one of my standards--either a stipple or a loopy design) or straight-line quilting along the diagonal.  I can't decide. If I was more in love with this design and wanted to invest the time I think a concentric circle or spiral following the diamonds the colors make might be neat.

For Oren I made a wonky star (this is a great tutorial if you've never made one and you definitely should) and an Evening Star.  So far, I love how they're coming together and Chris and Oren really like this one too. I have bent enough to agree to buy licensed Star Wars fabric for the back.  I know--Mom of the Year right here.  Every once in awhile I'll bend.  ;)

Sorry this picture is so fuzzy--maybe I should stand a little stiller when snapping???

Today I got my fabrics ready to start my triple-zip pouch for Debbie's 3ZAL.  In the two weeks she's hosted it, over 125 little pouches have been made and added to the flickr group.  I decided to use some old fabric from my Great-Grandmother's stash with some vintage flair for my main fabric choice.  While I dearly love my bright aquas, pinks and citrus colors, every once in awhile I love me some old primary colors too.  :)

I hope to get started on it tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it goes.

And I let Oren choose the next block for his quilt:  EQ calls it Starry Path.  I printed out the paper piecing templates and have fabrics chosen.  This was quite the pattern to put together--EQ will give you foundation paper piecing templates, but since it took up 4 sheets of paper I had to tape them together to cut them out and then remember how it all went together.  I'm hoping the actual piecing goes easier than getting the piecing ready.  ;)

Can you see all the notes I had to make to myself on this bad boy?  What color goes where and what pieces line up with each other.  Hopefully the sewing is easier.  ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


My first random fact today--I'm blogging from my phone today.  so...any weird areas and we'll blame it on that.  I'm running errands with my sister today and so i'm blogging away from home.

I spent some time with some strips of fabric today and have 6 of my 12 scrappy trip blocks completed.  i only took a pic of 4, but i have 6 done and 6 more ready to sew...

I'm glad I'm only making a baby quilt because I'm already wearing out on these...

Winter Storm Nemo is dropping a lot of rain on us today, but the temps are still nice.  Prayers to everyone who will be caught in that storm tomorrow and this weekend.

My race is in 2 weeks.  2 WEEKS!!!!  i feel ready and woefully not ready at the same time.  but i am hoping to meet up with Meesh, so that sounds fun.  Meeting online friends kinda feels like a blind date or something...

I've moved some stuff around in my sewing room and think I like it.  If I can ever get it cleaned up, I'll take some pictures to show it off.

And last before I sign off, I'm skating on thin ice with my internet till the 10th.  We got a MiFi over the summer for internet because we were still on dialup...yep still on dialup, and we only get so much data a month.  So...if you don't hear from me over the weekend know I'm having withdrawls and waiting on Feb 11 to bring me a new month of data!  ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Hi all!  Short and sweet today as I'm writing on my "lunch break" before I get busy again.  This week, I'm working on Oren's Star Wars quilt and a baby quilt for our sweet new cousin that was born right before Christmas and I somehow completely forgot to make a quilt for.  Duh...

As I mentioned before I promised both kids a quilt for their 5th birthdays that represented the theme of their parties.  Emma's used Mendocino by Heather Ross since she had an Under the Sea theme and Oren chose Star Wars (he's still obsessed...) so I am making him a star quilt using blues, blacks, whites and grays.  And yes, he is almost 7.  I'm putting the pedal to the metal on this one to get it finished before March 2 when he'll turn 7.  WHAT??  How is that even possible?

I decided to just do a mix of stars and make one easy one and then one more complicated one so as to "even out the load."  For my first block, I went with an Ohio Star which is easy-peasy and a great one to start out with.  I didn't use a tutorial since it's pretty easy to figure out and that was my mistake... See, math has never been my strongest area.  I'm more of a right-brainer and logic, math, etc seems to escape me at times.  Then you add in the fact that I've had a monster head cold all week and yep--I completely messed up.

I  cut the quarter-square triangle pieces at the same measurements as my whole squares and then they were obviously too small.  Guess when I realized it...

Yikes!  Time to quit for the night...
But yesterday I got them cut out again at the right size and this block went together in no time.

Next up--a free block tutorial from Aurifill.  They called it the Jumping Jack Flash block and their coloration was VERY different than mine.  In fact, if I hadn't seen this block made somewhere else in other colors I probably would have never chosen it.  But, I think it turned out just fine in the end.

Notice a problem here?  I didn't either at first.

Ahhh, better.

Still needs to be trimmed up...I just get so excited I forget!

Next up I've got probably the Evening Star and a Wonky Star.  I did the Evening Star in the Summer Sampler a couple of years back (in the WIP basket...) so I'll probably reprint those paper piecing templates and go from there.

Now on to that baby blanket.  I never jumped on the Scrappy Trip Around the World that hit Instagram and Twitter so big because I was working hard to finish up some old WIPs, so I think I'll hit it up now.  Baby Izzie's nursery is in light greens, pinks and browns so I'm using those colors to make my Trip.  Mine will be a little more planned because I know the Mommy would prefer that to a scattered scrappy layout.

Here are my fabrics ready to cut and sew:

What are you up to today and this week??

And as always, I'm linking up with Lee:


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Banana Dream

This past weekend was my brother's 25th birthday.  The family came up for the weekend to celebrate here and so I had the honor of making him a birthday cake.  When I asked what he might like, he mentioned TooJays' Banana Dream Cake.

Have you ever been to or heard of TooJays Deli before?  We used to have one in Gainesville (the big city 45 minutes away), but it has since closed.  I never visited.  So...I had no idea what a TooJays' Banana Dream Cake was but who am I to disappoint?

So, I searched for copycat recipes but none were to be found on the internet.  REALLY??  I kept my head down and formed a new plan.  I headed to TooJays web site and read their description of the cake.

Banana Dream jpg
photo via flickr

Happy 25th Jay!!  

Then I searched recipes for banana cream.  I started to take the easy way out and make Jello Instant Pudding but had neither vanilla or banana cream pie in my pantry.  So I made it from scratch.  I used this recipe.  Except--I didn't realize we were out of cream, so I didn't add that in.  If you make this cake (and you should) add it in.

TooJays' Version via flickr--mine looks very similar except for my filling was much smaller and darker with out the cream.

As for the frosting.  Yep, this self-proclaimed milk-chocolate-hater made milk chocolate buttercream for my sweet brother.  I then stuck the walnuts and (semi-sweet) chocolate chips to the outside.  I was going to make a ganache, but no I melted down some dark chocolate chips, stirred them into the milk chocolate frosting, smeared it on the top and called it a day.

I didn't use near as many chocolate chips and walnuts as they do...

Having never had the original, I had no idea if this would be good or at all comparable.  But, my guinea pigs family members dove in and came back up with smiles.

Three days later we still have a quarter of the cake left (I forgot to send it home with my brother) and its been calling me every morning for breakfast...  The cake has a similar taste to banana bread but is much lighter in density and flavor.  The banana cream (which would have benefitted from the whip cream in my opinion) tastes like banana pudding ('cause it is...) and adds a nice creaminess to the cake.  The chocolate frosting tastes just like Easter candy to me and is a nice compliment to the lighter banana flavors.  And the chocolate chips and walnuts add crunch and a zing of flavor.

I probably would have never ordered this cake at a restaurant since I like bananas but they're not my favorite, but I have to say, my homemade version surprised me.  If it's anywhere near as good as TooJays I see why so many people were searching for the recipe online.

If you like Banana Dream Cake, I definitely recommend this version.  It was a winner around here.  Now if only making the cake made the calories nonexistant to the baker...

Linking up...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Something New Comes this Way

I've been participating in the Something New Sampler Blog Hop put on by Amy at The Cute Life.  So far we've done a modern bagello, folding, turning scraps into fabric, reverse applique and sashiko.  And as of last night, I'm all caught up.  Of course today brings two more tutorials, but anyway...

It's been neat to learn new techniques and review old ones in a small one-block size.  I don't have to commit to anything big and the fun 7" x 14" block size is interesting.

So here are my blocks to date:
Bargello quilt block
folded technique quilt block
Scraptastic quilt block
Reverse Applique quilt block--don't have any idea why this one is vertical--I did them all the same...
Sashiko quilt block

Here's my sashiko stitching up close
And here are the blocks together so far--I quickly painted a black background around them to see  what I thought--I'm considering a black background for the quilt itself...

Up this week are both a trapunto-style block and cathedral windows, both of which I'm very interested to try out.  Both are new techniques to me.

There are prizes for those that make any of the blocks and turn them into anything--a quilt, pillow, bag, etc.  So, I encourage you to try out some of these blocks and learn something new.  New is always good.  ;)

I hope you are having a great Monday and I'll be back tomorrow to show off the cake I made for my brother's birthday...  yum!